Upton Available; Odds Against Phillies

Upton to the Phillies doesn't seem possible. (AP)

The Arizona Diamonbacks are once again shopping young, power-hitting outfielder Justin Upton in another effort to rebuild. There is a clear need for a game-changer in the Phillies outfield as questions still surround Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf, and John Mayberry Jr. The Phillies will be in the market searching for another option, but it’s hard to believe they can make a deal of this magnitude happen.

Last season, Upton hit 17 home runs, a down year compared to his breakout 2011 in which he slugged 31 homers and posted an OPS just under .900. Upton is just 25 and has a team friendly contract that runs through 2015 and pays him $9.5 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, and $14.5 million in 2015. That’s a relative pittance for a young outfielder that appears to be a budding star.

That budding star will not be playing for the Phillies; it’s not likely anyway. According to USA Today, the Texas Rangers have expressed interest and have shortstops that the D’Backs might covet. And that’s the true issue here – talent going the other way. Arizona is said to want a few major league ready players, which the Phillies don’t have to give. If the Rangers are dangling Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar (more likely Andrus because he’s more expensive and older, although more experienced) that’s already more than the Phillies can offer.

It’s doubtful that Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf, or even Dominic Brown would interest Arizona more than the thought of a franchise shortstop. The Phillies do have highly touted pitching prospects and some pretty good catchers in the system. That still won’t be enough.

For those pining to see the lawfirm of Upton and Upton in the outfield, keep dreaming. B.J. is much more attainable than his brother Justin.

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  1. MplsPhilsFan

    November 8, 2012 at 10:53 am


    I am not so sure that the Phillies would not have the chips necessary to make a trade for Justin Upton palatable. If the Phils offered Vance Worley, Freddy Galvis, Sebastian Valle, and Trevor May, I think that would top an offer of Elvis Andrus for Upton straight up. Now if Profar is made available, the D-Backs would jump all over that, but the Rangers have said repeatedly that he will not be traded (could be just a negotiating ploy, but I tend to believe them on this one).

    In the offer that I listed above, the D-Backs would get one major league ready pitcher, a shortstop, a highly regarded catching prospect, and a high level pitching prospect. Personally, I do not think that Andrus by himself would be enough for Upton, they may have to include Olt to get him, and if they do then the Phillies could not top that offer.

    • Jeff Dowder

      November 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Arizona wants a major league ready player in the package for Upton. Galvis and Valle don’t fit that description. In fact, there’s a question of whether either one even projects to be starting player in the big leagues according to some scouts. There’s no way that Arizona would take that package over one that included Elvis Andrus.

  2. Lefty

    November 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Kevin Towers strikes me as a pretty sharp guy, I agree with Pat. There are too many other teams with better trade pieces. Why would they trade a two time all star like Upton for anything less than equal or better exchange? The last I heard, Towers said it’s unlikely Upton will be traded this offseason. I could be wrong about this, but when a GM makes a public announcement like that, I translate it to mean,- he hasn’t heard an offer good enough to make him want to yet.

  3. gmo709

    November 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Dont trade Ruf. Do not trade Ruf.

  4. bacardipr

    November 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    This is a sigh of relief I havent been big on Upton like most of the people on the blogs.

  5. Don M

    November 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Worley and Gavlis are fringe major leaguers …. Valle and May might never make it..

    They want MLB-ready talent in return, and the Phillies just don’t have enough of that to offer

    The Rangers have other prospects too- doesn’t need to be Olt – they have one of the deepest farm systems in the game. I’d love if we could get either Upton, I just don’t think trading for Justin is realistic

    • Phillies fan from Germany

      November 9, 2012 at 3:33 am

      I certainly wouldn’t say Worley is a fringe major leaguer. He has pitched almost 300 innings for the Phillies and has posted an ERA of 3.50. He is not a star but especially with him being under team control for a few years to come, he definitely has some value on the trade market. But obviously not the type of value you would have to give away to trade for Justin Upton.

  6. bacardipr

    November 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Sorry take it back i thought it was for BJ Upton. I would like to see the other Upton here.

  7. phil

    November 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    The only way the Phillies can get Justin Upton is if they go sign his brother and hope he uses his no trade protection to block a trade to anyone but the Phillies so he can play with his little brother. The dbacks have good outfield depth and a young budding star at 1b so ruff means nothing to them nor does Brown or any of our other potential trade chips. A pack centered around 2 of Tommy Joseph Jesse biddle and Cody asche and some other fringe prospects would be starting negotiations. Anyone suggesting our trash heap like galvis and Worley do not understand the valuation of prospects when a gm is making a trade.

    • Lefty

      November 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Careful what you wish for. I think it’s a bad idea to have both Upton brothers on the same team. Just my opinion.

  8. phil

    November 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Oops I meant big brother

  9. chuck schreiber

    November 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Would love to see an OF of Ruf, Upton and Upton. What ever Rube has to do to make it happen please “JUST DO IT”

  10. psujoe

    November 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Rangers are saying that Andrus and Profar are not on the table for Justin Upton.

  11. George

    November 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I can think of no Phils’ players Arizona would actually want. They are all too old, too expensive, too inexperienced, or play positions the DBacks have covered.

    Upton would fill a need, for sure, but trading for him would create a new need in some different spot. Even if he could be had for prospects, in a year or two, when Utley’s knees go completely, Halladay’s arm maybe falls off, Ruiz finally gets too old for regular duty, or an unforseen injury occurs, they’ll need all the Mays, Asches, and Josephs they can find.

  12. Psujoe

    November 9, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I don’t see the Phil’s making a play for uptown. They already traded the farm, cosart, singleton, santana+, for 1 year of pence, Scheirholtz, Joseph and Rosen.

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